VMware NSX-T Data Center transport nodes

Hypervisor transport nodes are hypervisors that are prepared and configured for VMware NSX-T Data Center.

The VDS provides network services to the virtual machines that are running on those hypervisors. VMware NSX-T Data Center supports VMware vSphere ESXi and KVM hypervisors. The N-VDS that is implemented for KVM is based on the Open vSwitch (OVS) and is platform-independent. It can be ported to other hypervisors and serves as the foundation for the implementation of VMware NSX-T Data Center in other environments (for example, cloud and containers). For the VMware NSX-T Data Center on VxBlock Systems design, Dell EMC Sales Engineers deploy and support only VMware vSphere ESXi based transport nodes. The VMware support organization supports other types of transport nodes.

The VMware NSX-T Data Center for VxBlock System transport node design uses the following criteria:

  • There is one N-VDS using vmnic0 and vmnic1 for VMware vSphere ESXi host functions including port groups and kernels for VMware vSphere ESXi management, vMotion, and NFS.
  • There is one N-VDS using vmnic2 and vmnic3 for workload VMs.

    The N-VDS is used for East-West and North-South traffic with the use of TEPs to create an overlay network.

  • Uplink teaming of source port is used on the N-VDS to ensure load-balancing.
  • An MTU value of 9000 is important on these vNICs to allow for the overhead of GENEVE tunnel encapsulation.
  • VLAN tagging is required at the uplink profile for TEP traffic. There is no VDS in front of the N-VDS.

The use of the VMware VDS and N-VDS enables the separation of the VMware vSphere ESXi host functions from VMware NSX-T Data Center traffic. If a failure occurs, it also makes troubleshooting and recovery of a host easier. The following figure illustrates the topology of this design:

In this design, the transport nodes are connected to FI A and B through vmnic0 and vmnic1. The N-VDS is connected through vmnic2 and vmnic3 to FI A and B.

VLAN 121 is added to the vNIC template for vNICs 2 and 3 and Cisco Nexus 9000 Series Switches (9K-A and 9K-B) trunk ports to FIs for the overlay network.